Date: March 6, 2015
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Josh Matthews, Taz
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
Coming out of last week, we seem to not have a #1 contender. Lashley successfully defended the title against MVP, though the match featured a lot of interference. Other than that we have the continuing stories of Mr. Anderson/Spud/Mandrews vs. Tyrus/EC3, which has gone from a comedy feud to one of the more entertaining feuds in the company. Let's get to it.
We open with a recap of last week's main event with the Beat Down Clan getting close to taking the World Title from Lashley but Gunner and Drew Galloway made things even enough for Lashley to retain the belt.
Tonight it's Bobby Roode vs. Kurt Angle vs. Eric Young for the #1 contendership.
Here's the Beat Down Clan to get things going. Kenny King doesn't want this Drew Galloway situation to get any further out of control. Drew is known as the Chosen One, but he choose to interfere in BDC business. I thought he was known as rhythm guitarist for some band with three guys. So now, it's time for the BDC to choose what part of Drew they're going to hurt.
MVP says this is Beat Down Clan business that was a year in the making. He arrived just over a year ago to become the World Champion but Drew got in the way. MVP is reasonable though and is willing to let Drew come out here and apologize. Galloway shows up in the crowd and says he's at home right now. He came to the ring last week to stop MVP from stealing the title. He's surrounded by wrestling fans, not sports entertainment fans.
Drew is here to give the fans a voice and asks some fans their names. Those are the people the BDC is screwing with and that isn't going to fly. King says they demand retribution and threatens Galloway's family if he doesn't get in the ring tonight. Drew wants King one on one so King agrees to send his brothers to the back.
Drew Galloway vs. Kenny King
Both guys are in street clothes. King enziguris him down and MVP comes in for a few stomps. That's not a DQ due to reasons not explained but Galloway comes back with knees in the corner and a snap suplex. King bails to the floor but Drew is fine with beating him up outside as well. He drops King over the barricade but King gets in some shots to the ribs to take over. A tilt-a-whirl slam onto the apron has King in even more trouble as this has barely been a match so far.
Back in and King drops him ribs first over the ropes and we hit the chinlock. An overhead belly to belly gets two for Kenny but Drew gets all fired up. He gets two off a top rope clothesline but King breaks up the Future Shock (snap double arm DDT). They need to go home already because this is getting bad. King hits a quick springboard Blockbuster for two more and frustration is setting in. He loads up a backslide of all things but gets countered into the Future Shock to give Galloway the pin at 6:25.
Rating: D. I really wasn't feeling this one as they were just trading spots for a few minutes with no flow or structure to the match. Galloway is talented in the ring but having a big guy as the hero is always kind of awkward, especially when he's in there against someone not very big. Not a good debut but at least Galloway won.
The BDC chases Drew off post match.
Here's Roode to talk about the three way tonight. He promises to take out Young and get the title shot in one match. No one can stand in his way, but here's Angle to disagree. He comes down to the ring but Eric Young sneaks in to go after Roode. Angle pulls him off and gets in a fight with Young, only to have Roode clear the ring.
Video on Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell for the Knockouts Title later tonight.
James Storm talks to Bram about joining the Revolution and asks him to take out Matt Hardy later tonight. Bram seems intrigued.
Before we go to a break, we get a video on the winner of tonight's triple threat facing Lashley for the title in two weeks. They say his name over and over, show his picture, and show him winning the triple threat. I'll avoid spoilers, but my goodness TNA, cut this nonsense out.
Video on Kurt Angle.
Matt Hardy vs. Bram
The bell never rings before they start fighting in the corner. Matt avoids a charge and hits the clothesline and running bulldog, followed by a second clothesline to send Bram outside. The brawling favors Bram of course and he takes over by driving Matt into the apron. Back in and some right hands set up a chinlock. Matt fights up and scores with a Side Effect, followed by a moonsault to the legs for two. Bram shoves the referee away though, setting up a low blow and the Brighter Side of Suffering (inverted DDT) for the pin at 4:15.
Rating: D+. Just a quick brawl here but Bram joining the Revolution could be interesting. That being said, they need to actually do something with the team before it gets stale by just sitting there. This wasn't much of a match though and I'm not wild on another DDT finisher from someone out of the UK.
Bram gets his wrench but Magnus runs down for the save. When Bram left him laying in an alley, Magnus had two choices: go home and hide, or be the kind of man that his son could be proud of. It's personal now, and Magnus is going to make Bram's blood stain the holy ground of England.
Spud promises Anderson that he'll finish things with Ethan Carter III tonight.
Galloway says he's tired of the Beat Down Clan dominating the show and he isn't going to stand for it. He has an army in his corner and it begins tonight.
Recap of Spud vs. Carter.
Here's Spud in a Union Jack flag to thank the fans for getting him through all these problems. Everything has to end though, so he'd like Ethan Carter III to come out here right now, face to face. That's exactly what he gets with Carter in a suit of his own. Spud wants to end this man against man but Carter goes into his usual speech about his accomplishments.
That's not what Spud wants to hear though as he tells Carter to shut up. Of course Spud knows everything about Ethan's career because he was there with Carter every step of the way. If that's so important to him, fight Spud one on one so he can end Carter's streak. Carter agrees, provided that Spud puts up his hair. Spud agrees, but thinks Carter's hair should be on the line too.
Ethan bends down to look Spud in the eye and says challenge accepted, but just remember one thing: in this world, the bad guys win. Carter goes to leave but Spud brings up all the times Carter told him he was a lion or a gazelle. Well he isn't any of those things, because he's a man. As usual, this is the best feud TNA has had in months if not years. I can't believe I'm saying it but my goodness it's awesome.
Eric Young video.
Knockouts Title: Awesome Kong vs. Taryn Terrell
Taryn is defending and goes right at Kong, only to bounce off the monster and hit the mat. Kong keeps pounding away and slams the champ down, only to miss a charge in the corner. Some right hands stun Kong for a few moments but the Taryn Cutter is shrugged off. The second attempt goes just as well but Kong shoves the referee away for the DQ at 4:15.
Rating: D. This was angle advancement instead of a match and that's fine. They were clearly setting up the big showdown later on, but this protected Kong at the same time. The problem with someone like Kong is you have to either give her the title or beat her and end her credibility. It's hard to grade this as a match though as it was basically a squash until the storyline ending.
Taryn gets beaten up post match but Gail Kim runs out for the save.
Video on Davey Richards turning down the Revolution's offer to join, setting up a rivalry between the teams.
Bobby Roode video.
Tag Team Titles: Wolves vs. Abyss/James Storm
The Wolves are challenging but get jumped by the rest of the Revolution during their entrance. We get the opening bell and everyone brawls in the ring with the Wolves sending Storm into Abyss and making the monster DDT his leader. I really, really hate that spot. Things settle down to Abyss hammering Richards down but missing a splash. Manik pulls Edwards down to the floor to break up the hot tag though and it's off to Storm.
The Revolution tries to double team but Richards crawls between Storm's legs for the hot tag to Edwards. Eddie starts cleaning house but eats a Backstabber and the Eye of the Storm for two. Cue Matt Hardy to stare at the rest of the Revolution, allowing Eddie to grab an O'Connor Roll for two. Storm grabs a jumping neckbreaker and tags in Abyss, only to have him get sent to the floor.
The Wolves hit three straight double dives to take out everyone not named Storm but Edwards kicks him down. Manik and Sanada sneak in but Sanada mists Manik by mistakes. Abyss tries to bring in the cowbell but Matt comes in with a Twist of Fate, setting up the top rope stomps from the Wolves (dubbed the Hammer of the Gods) for the pin at 8:15.
Rating: C-. Good night this was a mess and I was losing track of everything by the end. TNA really needs to cut down on the mass carnage and interference in their matches because this isn't making things any better. The Wolves winning is fine, but three things: who do they defend against, what is the point of the Revolution at this point, and HOW BLIND IS THE REFEREE??? You had all that interference, a cowbell and MIST but he never calls a DQ? Really?
Post break, Matt endorses the new champs.
Spud vs. Carter in the hair vs. hair match is next week in London. Magnus vs. Bram as well.
Eric Young vs. Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode
One fall to a finish and the winner gets a title shot in two weeks. More on that later. For the third of five matches tonight, we have a brawl before the bell with Roode and Young beating each other up on the floor. Roode sends Young into the aisle before coming back in for a suplex from Angle. Eric gets back in and tries to German suplex Roode but Bobby grabs the referee. Instead it's a neckbreaker to put Roode down as Angle is sent to the floor.
Young stays in control but gets small packaged for two, only to take Roode's head off with a clothesline. A superplex on Roode is turned into a Tower of Doom with Angle powerbombing both guys down. Angle rolls a ridiculous ten Germans on Young but Roode counters the Angle Slam into the crossforehead. That's countered into the ankle lock (probably because it wasn't pulling back on Angle) but Roode rolls through into a crosseyes.
Young makes the save but takes the spinebuster from Roode, who gets Angle Slammed for two. There go the straps and Angle puts Young in the ankle lock but Eric makes the ropes. Angle rolls through the Roode Bomb into another ankle lock, only to have Roode roll through and bump the referee. Young hits Roode in the head with a chair, only to have Angle kick him down and hit the Slam on Roode for the title shot at 8:41.
Rating: C-. There were some major issues with this match. First and foremost was Eric Young, because he sucks. He makes things that shouldn't possibly suck suck. Like an air pump that blows air into things. Eric Young could make it suck. You put Eric Young's face on the New England Patriots' jerseys? They suck.
Eric Young is appearing at a frat house and giving away free beer? The frat boys would go to church and drink orange juice instead because Eric Young sucks. Eric Young sucks. He sucks on trains, he sucks on cars, he probably sucks on orange flavored popsicles. Why would he do that? Because orange flavored popsicles suck, just like Eric Young.
So yeah, Eric Young sucks. Other than that though, this match needed to go longer to live up to the hype this match had been given in the show. It's another short match that didn't have the time to get anywhere because TNA has to pack everything they can into a single show and fit in all their promos that don't advance anything.
There's one last thing that held this match back though: TNA spoiled the ending. Yeah, earlier in the night there was a preview for the March 20 show. Here's a paraphrased version of the audio. “KURT ANGLE has battled back to the top of TNA (with a clip of Angle pinning Roode) and is now the top contender to the World Title. On March 20, Angle will challenge TNA World Champion Bobby Lashley. Don't miss this huge clash.”
So all that drama that they could squeeze in to the less than nine minutes they could give this match? Totally worthless, as they had given away the ending already. They did this a few weeks back when Lashley was in Lethal Lockdown. This is something they REALLY need to work on. You could easily have switched the audio to “WHO WON???” and the problem is solved. But it's TNA, where the most basic things are difficult but having an entertaining show is becoming more common.
Lashley comes out for a staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This show was the end of the run of really good shows but it was still good. Here's the thing TNA still has over Raw at the moment: they set stuff up, give it a good build, then mostly deliver on it (after spoiling it half the time). WWE is the opposite as they have a bad build but the payoff is usually good. They need to slow things down though and let some of the matches stretch out. That's making the shows feel like Attitude Era episodes: they go by so fast that I can't tell if it was good or not.
The other major issue here is the lack of a focus. So Galloway is now feuding with the entire BDC, the Revolution is....I think feuding with the Hardys and Wolves, Bram might be joining the Revolution and is feuding with Magnus, and we're getting Roode vs. Young again because they've been feuding so now they keep feuding? There's good stuff in TNA right now, but they feel like they're holding things together with some strong duct tape. That's only going to last so long and this episode showed some cracks.
Drew Galloway b. Kenny King – Future Shock
Bram b. Matt Hardy – Brighter Side of Suffering
Taryn Terrell b. Awesome Kong via DQ when Kong shoved the referee
Wolves b. Abyss/James Storm – Hammer of the Gods to Abyss
Kurt Angle b. Bobby Roode and Eric Young – Angle Slam to Roode
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